Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A better day

Great run today! 8 miles on the IMSG run course in an hour. The kind of run that leaves you feeling on a high when you're done. Yum!
First couple miles the legs reminded me of what we just did Monday and my heel was tight, but after that the legs and heel and I got feeling better and enjoyed the rest of the run. Threw in six 5-6 minute intervals. What a course. Some serious climbs, as well as some fun descents. Some fantastic views too. I would've taken pics, but today was a down to business fast run. Race day should prove to be a good time! I look forward to running both out and back Saturday.

A little course map for you......looks fun doesn't it! :)

Knowing what's to come this weekend I decided to indulge in a contrast bath. We have a pool here at the complex that they don't heat or cover during the winter and it worked perfect. Seriously did not expect it to be as cold as it was. Just as cold as when my tub is full of ice! I only lasted 6 minutes the first time. My 4 year old tried to convince me to swim laps. Um....NO!

Jumped into the hot tub for 10 minutes,

then back into the frigid painful water for another 7 minutes. Painful for sure, check out this coloring

But beneficial for sure. There will be a repeat of the icing fun Friday afternoon, don't you even worry.

Oh, and the best part of my recovery today? Even more than eating lots of yummy food?
A nap with my sweet baby

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dear St George....

Thank you for the dry roads clear of ice and snow, but come on -
is 45 degrees and overcast the best you can do???
I shouldn't whine, I hear it's snowing at home, and riding outside there is almost impossible and I've already logged 70 miles outside down here.
Yesterday about 12:30pm I got started on my first long ride for the week riding from T1 through 1 loop of the bike course. The red rocks riding away from Sand Hollow Reservoir are so beautiful. The ride into the next city, Washington, had several good climbs up, and several good descents as well. Nothing longer than a mile though, actually there are no sustained climbs on the whole course longer than a mile, just a ton of shorter ones. Once into Washington I got to ride on the new road running parallel to the freeway. Nice new black paving and not a car in sight. Went down one hill thinking I might topple head over heels it was so steep. I did actually say "Wee!" near the bottom of it though :)
Finally made it into St George and started the section of the course I've already ridden. Riding west toward Santa Clara I actually rode the correct route (got lost last time) and it takes you through some lava fields, pretty neat. I don't really care for that section through Santa Clara and Ivins, very monotonous and just feels like they're trying to add miles by having us make weird turns here and there. I just wanted to get out on the highway.


Anyway, the highway leading to the Gunlock turnoff seemed to come quicker this time, and the miles up to the reservoir weren't too bad. The lake isn't much to see, but this pic below shows it and the interesting climate layers you can see on the mountains. That small roller is also a good representaion of what you're always dealing with on this course. They're not all that small though..... ;)
It was the point of leaving the town of Gunlock at about 40 miles that I had kind of had it mentally. I was excited to be over halfway, but I was cold (mostly just my feet, they were frozen for sure despite the socks, shoes and neoprene toe covers I had on), and probably a little low on calories although I had been paying attention to things well. I actually stopped on the side of the road, drank my protein drink moved my trail mix from my back jacket pocket to the bento box right up front, and went on my way. Once I finally got up to Veyo, my highest spot in elevation, I saw snow on the sides of the road unlike I had elsewhere, and it was even colder. I stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom (really, just an excuse to get my feet dethawed a little in a warm place), and took off ready to be done. I remember being upset a the course at this point the last time I rode the course because there was an extra hill past the Veyo hill and I had forgotten about. This time I remembered and was mentally prepared and once I got through with that I was pleased with the renewed spirits I had as I FINALLY got to ride above 20pmh. In fact, I probably averaged 25mph those last 15 miles back into St George. I arrived to our condo very cold but to dinner on the table. I was a little colder than expected and had to endure the painful sting of frostbite on my feet while standing in the shower. OUCH! I hate that!

Anyway, long story short, yesterday's ride was had it's ups and downs both literally with never ending rolling hills and a headwind for 50 miles, mentally with times of confidence and others of great discouragement, and physically with low energy levels or dead legs or something, but no injuries or pain which is the up for sure. My nutrition went very well. I was dressed as well as I think I could have been, and am hoping for a little bit warmer and sunnier weather for the next ride on Friday. I averaged the mph average I was hoping for (but just barely, possibly a little under), so I'm confident with more training, better equipment, and race atmosphere I'll be in a good position to get that bike split I want.
Tomorrow I'll do some tempo work on the run course. I'm excited to feel the course out with my legs vs just the car. Probably sneak a swim in too. I hate paying to swim (I don't since I work at a fitness center at home), but our pool here unfortunately is waiting for a part to come in that was due yesterday......of course.

I don't usually post all of my goals and their specifics, but I will post Friday's. The plan is to ride 2 loops of the course giving me about 85 miles. It is something so hard to wrap my mind around right now, but something I need and want to do. The mileage is a little scary yes, but it's the hills and mental challenge that are the bigger players. I may be able to hook up with a local triathlon club riding the course that day for my second loop, but any and all encouragement I can get from my faithful readers will be much appreciated! I'm shameless, what can I say :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

End of the week

Ok, so that whole detailing the week didn't go so well. Sorry about that. Here's how the rest of the week looked though

Wednesday: a quick 1200 yd swim before my 6am water fitness class
Thursday: 2 hours of good hard Computrainer time with Charity in the morning which was really good, followed by a 2000 yard swim snuck in right before the fitness center closed at 1pm
Friday: lovely sunny 6 mile canal road snowy run after the Christmas hoopla had settled down. Perfect run! Went out just to run however felt good, and fast felt good - those days are the best!
Saturday: 2400 yard Master's swim in the morning, 9 mile run at the Oval with Jonathan. Plans for that morning got a little turned upside down and it was like 17 degrees for the high, so the Oval at 3pm actually ended up working out well. Good old Jonathan, he can really push the pace well for an old man ;)

And today we drove down to St George. I'm excited for a good quality week on the IMSG course. Tomorrow holds a 70ish mile ride. No super warm weather, but hey 45 is better than 25. Beggars can't be choosers :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

A training week documented

I decided to document the next 2 weeks of training, this week being a little more normal than our St George week next.

So this morning started with a 5:30am wake up call. Some days it is near impossible to drag myself out of bed, like I wish they made bed that could turn cold and hard when it was time to get up, along with some windows that light up impersonating the sun. That'd make things so much easier.
Anyway, off on a super foggy 5 minute drive to Master's swimming I go. Master's is kind of like adult swim team. We workout in lanes according to speed and have a coach and do sets. It's great! We've been doing the 12 weeks of Christmas as swimming where we add 1 x 100 every week, so this week we culminated with 12x100's on 1:25. For all my running friends, a 100 is 4 lengths of the pool, probably equivalent to a 400m or 1/4 mile interval. Not forever long, but long enough to be fatiguing. And 1:25 is fast, usually it's 90%+ for me to make them all (we leave for a new 100 every 85 seconds). Some weeks I haven't made them all, and have been 2-3 seconds behind. That's frustrating. But I'm proud to report today that I made all 12 and probably averaged 1:23! It was great! I was pushing hard, but probably only 80-85%, still in control. I had a lane mate Chris who was great to pace behind. Thanks Chris!
I'm really happy with how I'm swimming lately. I'm at a point where I am comfortable pushing through pain, I'm mentally prepared and ready for whatever is thrown at me. NO whining.
Sorry for the blurry pic, our camera is out of commission and the camera phone was still sleepy too :)

Went down to Aaron at Peak Performance for some bike adjustments today. He unfortunately saw the tech-newbie in me. I've ridden for 10 years sure, but I don't honestly know much about bikes and apparently not so much about "ankling", or pedaling correctly. It was great to have someone point it out and I look forward to the day I have a bike I'm excited to show off. And hopefully learning how to actually ride a bike correctly :) will yield me even better results.

Tonight before I taught my class it was time for a tempo run. I forgot to take a pic, sorry! I left the house late after making dinner, teaching the kids a little FHE lesson about Christ and Christmas, and putting my baby to bed so had to condense the workout a little to 3 x 7 minutes at 7:30min/mi pace w/ 3 minutes @ 9 minute mile in between plus warm up and cool down.

A good day. I'm pooped! Goodnight World!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dear Santa...

I'd like a massage for Christmas.

Wait, scratch that, I NEED a massage for Christmas. I have really been up-ing the training, swimming especially. I put 10,000 yards in just last week. That's 400 lengths of the pool. And my neck and shoulders are feeling it! My legs are pretty darn tired too, and I'm not particularly sure why. I did put in 3 good bike sessions on the trainer downstairs, but that's not unusual, and only got a couple runs in. Hmmm....
I've struggled mentally a bit in the last couple weeks. Just not feeling as energetic as usual and fearful of the endurance needs I require for IMSG. Like a friend Charity suggested, I probably just need a down week. I'd really like to push that out 1 more week out so I can do it over Christmas week. Then we're headed down to St George for a whole week where I'll put in LOTS of miles! Looking forward to it!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving day race and other stuff

Sorry for the lack of creativity in the subject line :) I'm still waiting on a cute pic hubby's cousin took of our family on Thanksgiving, but we all ran the International Thanksgiving Day Run in Orem. It's a great 4 mile race hubby's family owns. I met up with a friend Jonathan whom I ran the first 2.5 miles with at a solid 6:50-7:00min/mi pace. I was feeling great, so took off and ran the last 1.5 pretty fast, not sure how fast though. I finished the 4 miles in 26:47, good enough for 1st in my age group which meant I won a turkey! Yep, we have a nice 10lb Norbest turkey in the freezer. One of the more useful prizes I've won :)
I kind of want to do a few more shorter speedy things like this to enjoy my speed before it may give way to endurance with IMSG looming. I am actually curious to see what happens to my short speed as I work more slow twitch muscles than fast twitch. I'm not convinced I'll lose it. We shall see!
Anyway, the hubby who has only picked running up regularly since June or so came in only 4 minutes behind me at 30:59. Way to go babe! I was surprised to see him so soon. That's not knocking him, that's giving props. I better watch out ;)
And our 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son ran this year too. The 6 year old had her first race experience here 3 years ago and it wasn't a good one unfortunately. She felt pressured and shy with all the other kids around, and I got really upset and played stage mom. I learned a lot about both of us from that experience and I've become super relaxed and supportive with them now. Her success that day came from finishing the 1/2 mile with no crying, no coaxing or bribery from me, and only 3 10-second walk breaks. Way to go Mckayla!
And this was our little guy Talmage's first race (well he did do a fun run back in the spring, so maybe not, but still) and he had a great time. Smiled along the way, and seemed to enjoy his 1/4 mile. He's a
sweet happy little guy.
Great way to start the day for sure! No running for the baby yet, but next year I'm sure she'll make her debut ;)

In other news, IRONMAN St George is now under 5 months away! It's open for Volunteer sign up now too. I went on a ride last weekend with friends and it was harder than I would've like it to feel. I've been taking a college class and it's sucked my time dry this past month - 2 more weeks to real training back - yay!!!

On said ride, my friend Te Koi let me try some of his Mint Chocolate -I dare say the word.... GU. Now if you know me at all, you know I DON'T use GU! I'm a Hammer girl all the way, but this stuff is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! They only come out with it once a year for the holiday's and it taste just like an Ande's Mint - Yum! Random information - gram for gram, Ande's Mints have twice the calories the Mint Chocolate GU does. So if the craving hits.....eat a gel??

Hope everyone out there is doing well! Add on the layers (of clothing, not holiday food which = pounds) and get out and enjoy the sunshine and brisk temps!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Best way to explore

Is running! Or biking, or swimming...... ok, not so much, but cycling yes. I had the opportunity to fly out and stay with my twin sister Stephanie in Michigan this last weekend for our birthday and snuck away for a little 6 mile run Saturday. I would've loved to explore longer, but there was shopping to be done! :)


Oh and pedicures! This is the about the prettiest you'll ever see my toes - thanks Sis!


Check this burger served at Steak n Shake. Yes folks, that's a Wisconsin Buttery Steakhouse burger. A cheesburger "slathered in butter". Wow. Seriously? Yikes









On to the lovely run. I ran around this cute little lake. A nice paved path like the JRT here. 1.25 miles around - how sweet would that be for speed work?!

It then continued through the "forest" in the middle of Lansing winding around a river and tons of tall trees. I even saw an elusive black East Lansing squirrel. I've never seen a black one before.




Continued over several lovely bridges like this one, and also discovered this cool inner city spot. I had a cool pic on the flower chair, but my phone somehow deleted it. Uhg. What a great run though! Perfect weather. I didn't feel any real advantage being at 800 ft vs my normal 3500ish but I did run 7:30 pace without pushing it.


And bonus points, maybe even a cool prize for whoever can tell me where this mystery pic was taken (Sis, you can't answer). Remember, I was in Lansing. Good Luck!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Updates

Couple items of buisness real quick.

1. HAMMMER NUTRITION is having an awesome sale right now! Through the 17th of December they have 20%-50% off basically everything. Pretty sure they only do sales once a year, so this is definately the time to stock up. Nice part about this too is everyone can get the discount. Normally, if you enter my referal number 132708 as a first time Hammer.com orderer you get 15% off, but with this sale that discount doesn't apply. Luckily this sale has better discounts than that and is available to everyone. I still suggest entering my referal number if you haven't ordered off the site before as I'd bet they'll still throw some freebies in. Here are some examples of sale prices right now.
*Endurolyte 120 capsule bottle $19.95, on sale for $15.95

*Hammer Gel 1 serving packet $1.25, on sale for $0.95

*Hammer Gel 26 serving jug $19.95, on sale for $15.95

*HEED 32 serving drink powder $21.95, on sale for $17.55

*Perpetuem (for use over 2 hours) 32 servings drink powder, $44.95, on sale for $35.95

2. I finished up my last VO2 Max test yesterday and got it up to a 62.9 - Yay!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Telos Turkey Tri

Pumpkinman was supposed to be my last race of the season, but it didn't go so well and I really wanted to end my season on a fun note. So I signed up last minute and raced the Telos Turkey Tri. So Much Fun!!!
It's a neat race because it benefits a school helping struggling teens, Telos. They train for triathlons and other physical activities as part of their therapy and they were all out in full force volunteering Saturday. It's also a fun race because there are a lot of newbies there, plenty of mountain bikes to go around. I think it's fun to be around newbies (until I get to the bike course and they ride in the middle of the road and in packs - ride to the right, pass on the left!) because you can see their anxiety, and their excitment. It's fun to answer questions and just to see them complete something they've never done before. Triathlons are so rewarding.
So the race started off with a 5k run. Mostly flat, some down, 1 longer climb back up to the finish. I ran it in 20:19, and I'm pleased with that. A friend and super cool girl Sarah was chating with me before the race and mentioned how I had the advantage today with us running first and all. She so graciously let me lead the race for all of 1/4 mile before passing me and beating me by 30 seconds or so. Oh well, she had a great run today and at least she was always in my sights. It would've been fun to just sprint up and catch her, but I still had a bike and swim to go.
Bike was 2 5-mile loops, so 10 miles total. Flat, fun descents, curves and turns while descending, then a big climb up 400 S in Orem to get back where we started. It was lots of fun and I handled the technical stuff well. I played cat and mouse with a couple guys through most of it then blasted past them on the last standing climb - that was awesome! You could totally hear them groan like "ah crap". I held my own pretty well today on the bike, I'm happy with it. I wish more courses allowed you to go so fast and have so much fun.
The 350meter snake style swim was in an indoor 50 meter pool. It wasn't that cold Saturday so I didn't feel any stinging getting in the water, but it was way too warm. Like swimming in bath water - not fun! I didn't realize how tired my arms were, and it was like swimming through cement sometimes. Short and sweet though.

I finished 2nd overall (yay!) and had a great time. That's all I could have asked for. Well, I could've beat Sarah Jarvis, but she's sort of super human, so I'll save that for another day when all the stars align perfectly. Seriously she's an awesome girl and it was fun just to try to keep her in my sights.
Oh and good prizes too -no hair products that day :) New running shorts and a Road ID gift certificate. Perfect weather with lots of sunshine, great friends, good prizes, a very well organized event, and fast racing - mmmmm, does it get any better than that?! I think not :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

VO2 Testing Part 1

I had the opportunity to have my VO2 tested today by Aaron at PEAK Fitness & Performance. This is the first in a series of 3 maximal tests I'm participating in as part of a study so to speak for some new shoes under development. For those unfamiliar with VO2 max testing:

VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake, is one factor that can determine an athlete's capacity to perform sustained exercise and is linked to
aerobic endurance. VO2 max refers to the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise. It is measured as "milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight."

This measurement is generally considered the best indicator of an athlete's cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance. Theoretically, the more oxygen you can use during high level exercise, the more ATP (energy) you can produce. This is often the case with elite endurance athletes who typically have very high VO2 max values.

How Is VO2 Max Measured?
Measuring an accurate VO2 max requires an all-out effort (usually on a treadmill or bicycle) performed under a strict protocol in a sports performance lab. These protocols involve specific increases in the speed and intensity of the exercise and collection and measurement of the volume and oxygen concentration of inhaled and exhaled air. This determines how much oxygen the athlete is using.

An athlete's oxygen consumption rises in a linear relationship with exercise intensity -- up to a point. There is a specific point at which oxygen consumption plateaus even if the exercise intensity increases. This plateau marks the V02 Max. It's a painful point in VO2 max testing where the athlete moves from aerobic metabolism to anaerobic metabolism (See the article: Energy Pathways for Exercise). From here, it's not long before muscle fatigue forces the athlete to stop exercising. The test usually takes between 10 and 15 minutes and requires an athlete to be completely rested and motivated to endure the pain long enough to find the true VO2 max.

Anyway, I warmed up on the treadmill for about a mile. Then we put in my height, weight, age, etc into the machine and got me hooked up. The silicone mask was not the most comfortable thing, definitely not the most attractive thing, but not too bad. It weighed more than I expected (being connected to a long hose doesn't help), and it did bounce a little which combined with the weight left me with a bit of a tender nose, but not a huge deal. I did get used to it as we went on. Aaron mentioned that a different headpiece that can be used requires you to use a nose plug and breathe through your mouth while biting a mouthpiece -now that would get annoying.
Anyway, time to get started. I ran for about 12 minutes at 7.8mph (7:41 mi/mile). Every minute we increased the incline 1%, eventually ending up at about 10% I believe (not sure, I was busy not falling off the treadmill). Every so often Aaron would have me point at what my RPE (rate of perceived exertion). I was working hard, but really was ok until about the last 1:30. Muscles were getting a little fatigued and it was getting difficult to get a full breath in. But he encouraged me to get to 20:00 (that includes warm up), so I pushed through it. I wasn't totally fall-on-the-floor-dead when we finished, but that incline definitely maxed me out. I was relieved we were weren't going 30 minutes like I anticipated, that would have been really hard!

Kept the mask on for a few minutes to track my recovery, then sweet freedom :) The result? 60.2 I'm very happy with that considering I lost some fitness this summer with the broken foot hiatus. A lot of VO2 max is genetic (thanks Mom and Dad!), but Aaron thinks I can get it up to 63-64 with some serious high volume training.
It's hard to find a definitive chart as I don't think I saw any two the same in the dozen I googled, some more geared to the general population, some more athletic. There is some variation, but most charts put the top superior values around 41-50. Check out this chart :)
Nordic skiers generally have the highest numbers, followed by distance runners then cyclists. Cross country skiers hold both the men's and women's highest recorded numbers at around 94 and 77. Ingrid Kristiansen, a marathon world record holder had a VO2 max of 71.2. Steve Prefontaine came in at 84. Greg LeMond (the first American to win the Tour de France) had a VO2 max of 92.5 at his peak. In comparison, the ever-popular Lance Armstrong is said to have a VO2 max of 85. Ironic Lemond accuses Armstrong of doping.....Yeah......Anyway, VO2 max numbers go up according to the amount of muscle being used, and cyclists use much less upper body than endurance runners and Nordic skiers. Those cycling numbers are unbelievable.
THIS is a really cool website showing more record numbers and has some cool tools on the left sidebar based around VO2 (including ways to roughly calculate it without the lab method)

The machine printed out an awesome little sheet summarizing my results. A benefit to having this testing done is it works out your HR training zones more precisely than the math equations. So now I have HR zones really tuned into my specific running. I go in for the next two tests T and TH of next week, so stay tuned.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It's On!


Today marks the 6 month mark before the race. I've been waiting for this so that I can get started training and start the travel details. I was supposed to book our condo today but the guy decided not to rent those dates out afterall - uh that would've been helpful info say.....months ago! My parents and 3 siblings are coming down with us, so it's not like we only need a hotel room. So now the hunt is on for another 3+ bedroom condo or house that won't cost us a fortune. No easy task now that everyone knows IRONMAN is coming to town.
Just a tip for all you spectators wanting to come down. Book a hotel room NOW! You can always cancel it later, but there's going to be slim pickings if anything in the coming months. I wish we could rent out a big mansion and have all my family AND friends under the same room, that would be so much fun!
I ran with a good friend and experienced Ironman triathlete Charity yesterday and she helpfully reminded me to keep my excitement a little reigned in so that I don't overtrain and get mentally burned out. Sometimes I'm super excited for this and other times, like when it's 30 degrees out or there's snow on the ground, I think "Oh crap, what have I done signing up for a spring Ironman". but I'll get it done. 6 months can sound like such a long time, but then othertimes seems like it's right around the corner.
So here we go, my journey to my 140.6 mile payday May 1, 2010

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pumpkinman Report - A learning experience...

Well the race didn't go so well. I was exited for it, prepared for it. A couple ladies were there I was looking forward to racing. We made the 7 hour trek down the day before which wasn't so bad. I was happy to be out of the car, but not sore or stiff really.
Normally we camp at the venue or I go to the race alone so I can get there as early as I'd like to. Well this race the hubby and kids wanted to be there, but not the 2.5 hours early I like to be. Luckily transition racks were assigned so you know you can't get stuck with too bad of a spot. Well we got off that morning a bit late and didn't end up getting to the race site till 45 minutes before the start. 45 minutes! That gives me anxiety just thinking about it. I had to sqeeze in a not so great spot, but it worked. I quickly got set up, ready to head down to the water when hubby and the kids met me at transition and informed me they weren't sure if they'd make it to T2. What? Why? Well, you see, my hubby broke the car key in half. That's right, snapped it right in half. He's a strong guy ;) Just a little bit more anxiety filled me as you might imagine. Luckily it was not jammed in a door or ignition somewhere and the car wasn't locked, but it's kind of hard to start a car with half a key eh? I worried for them and how they'd get out of that lonely dessert, but he reasurred me they'd be fine (and they were, he found a spare somehow), so off I went to the water.

So their pre race announcing was horrible. Lots of funny humor, but I never heard a pre race meeting or directions for the swim course -and there were 3 different races, so it's kind of important to know what's going on. Also didn't hear a "Go!", a horn, nothing, for any of the 3 waves before me, INCLUDING my own!! Yep, started 3 or so minutes after all the ladies after a nice man pointed to that pack swimming 200 yards out. Panic, more anxiety, crap. I had a stellar swim though, warm water, 20ft visability, feeling great, still coming out quick (4th out of the water), but those extra 3 min would have been nice. I did want a good swim out of this, and got it. The whole late start was discouraging, but my mind was just fine, still in the game.


Bike was very hilly, and I knew that. Very big rollers the first 18 miles, then a constant uphill to T2 7 miles later. We wound through the dessert for most of that which got discouraging at times when it seemed we were only heading away from where we needed to go. BIG climbing, definately one of the toughest courses I've done. Held onto it well, but ran out of water and had to ration too much till the end. And its Freaking HOT out there! Like 90 degrees. I just did not expect that even out of Vegas seeing as it's late October. I was too concerned about weight and figured I had enough water. Dumb mistake. The thirst got bad too, I even asked a couple spectators for water. On a flatter course with cooler temps I would have been fine, learning experience for next time.

Going into the run I only had 2 ladies to pick off to podium overall and knew it wouldn't be a problem . . . . .that is till I started running. Just could not push. My legs really weren't the problem, the engine was. I just couldn't go. The heat was oppresive. Didn't think about it till it was pointed out to me after the race, but I didn't get any real training in the heat this summer with the whole broken foot thing, and it showed. My lungs were also a bit tight, asthma-ish which is wierd, just couldn't open them even though I was fairly calm and running slow. I had water sloshing in my stomach but still took in at least a mouthful or two at the like 5 aid stations. I knew it wouldn't help, that it'd probably make it worse, but it felt so good, even just dipping my lips in the cup. After the second mile I allowed myself to go to the mentality of "one foot in front of the other, I just want to finish". Thinking that way didn't upset me at the time, it's what I needed to do to keep going, but now I regret it, I think. I want to say I should've pushed harder, moved through it, but honestly, recalling how I felt, I just don't know that I could have. But I will get mentally stronger so that this doesn't happen again.

So I guess todays run was just a case of dehydration and heat, discouraging to say the least. I didn't even podium in my age group which hasn't happened in a long time. 5 women 25-29 years old within 7 minutes of eachother in a 3 hour race, and those 5 (I was 5th) made up over half of the top 10 overall! I finished 8th overall, 10 minutes slower that I should have. That 10 minutes would've gotten me what I wanted, but alas, just didn't happen. IMSG has many of the same characteristics: heat, hills, wind, etc, so it's coming time to prepare myself for my even bigger challenge. I hate to have to learn lessons in races, but if it's going to happen, I'm going to learn and gain from it.
  • Continue to arrive early
  • Bring more fluids than the anticipated need
  • Use Heed on the bike, seems to absorb better than gel/water/endurolytes
  • Consider the climate - train for the conditions

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vegas Baby!

Well we're headed to Vegas tomorrow morning for my last big race this season. I debated ending with a bang with Daybreak -and strongly considered the option when the pain of pushing my body so hard was in full force :) - but really just wanted one more chance to use this post-injury fitness I've built, race the longer Olympic distance, and test myself a little for how my Ironman fitness is right now.

So we're going down to do Pumpkinman. A 1500yd swim in Lake Mead, a 25 mile HILLY bike, and a 6.2 mile run. The swim I'm looking to push the pace a little. Coming from a swimming background, I don't always push it. I know I can just maintain a good pace and still come out of the water fairly well. But I've been working the swim with more focus lately, so I'd like to up my average pace a little.
The bike is a rolling course with no flat really, and then at mile 18 or so you start a long climb up to T2. Some say 5 miles, some say 7; either way, it'll be a great for IMSG with all of its climbs. I plan to push it, stay in control, but ride like I didn't have a run afterward....almost :)
Then I get to enjoy the run. I love that part, you're 2/3 of the way done, and I love to run, so it's a good combination. Downhill to the turnaround, uphill back, should be a good challenge but favor a strong runner.

Anyway, we're staying with friends in Vegas friday and saturday night then planning on staying in St George sunday night so that I can get up early monday morning and go for a nice 50 mile ride of the IMSG bike loop (the course is about 26 miles to St George from Sand Hollow Reservoir, then 2-43 mile loops up around Gunlock Reservoir and down Snow Canyon). It'll be fabulous to see the course - definately will get those IM nerves a kicking I'm guessing :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

I am so blessed!

I just got back from a lovely ride to the top of Millcreek Canyon and back. Awesome colors, perfect temperatures, a tail wind on the way up (I didn't realize till I started coming down), and yes, even snow. Snow on the sides of the road in the middle of the canyon, and very much in the middle of the road at the top. I am so glad I brought the arm warmers, tights and gloves. Didn't need any of that climbing to the top, but it was a welcome addition for the ride down.
That lovely picture is in part because I was riding past SNOW in early October while in short shorts (working on my tan line, vain, I know, but you see I wore my longer shorts during the century and wouldn't you know, a 8 hour day in the sun = a noticeable tan line).
The picture is also for my friend Te Koi, he'll appreciate the facial expression :)


Anyway, great ride. Driving home I just contemplated the great people in my life that lead to the great experiences I have. I have such great training partners and friends in the sport. They are so much fun and make all this hard work a little more enjoyable. I've learned so much from those who've been where I have not, but am going. I've also had the opportunity to help people myself. Whether people I'm around in person, or just online friends, they set a good work ethic example for me, and are just plain fun!!
I owe SO SO SO much to my dear husband. He more than anyone else makes this all possible. He has always supported me and given me time to train. Drags 3 kids along to races so they can watch and cheer on mommy (NO easy task when we're away from home and I'm out doing my thing for 3-6 hours at a time). He does it alone even at times we've been away for the weekend and/or have had young babies. He's a stud. He has gotten more active in the last several months -including running his farthest run today, a 10k - and I'm really proud of him! He's lost at least 10lbs, feels better, looks better, and understands me and this crazy life I lead even better. Thank You Jer!
And finally, the Lord has blessed me. He's blessed me with a strong capable body that I've had control over for the most part. I think he blesses me for taking care of it. He blesses me with safety. I've had my share of close calls and a few injuries, but I know I'm watched over and protected so that I can come home and perform my most important roles.
I'm not a pro, I don't get paid for this, I don't race exotic races, but I have so much fun in racing AND in training. I get to see some really beautiful places and hang with some really great people. I love my play time :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Just weekend ramblings

No big events to speak of today, just some notes about this week's training. Tuesday I came down with the flu, so that set me back a litte. Ran some long intervals on the 440 meter indoor track at the Utah Olympic (speedskating) Oval wednesday. Totally reminded me it's getting to be the offseason and I remembered the 14 mile long run I once did in there.
Friday I rode 50 miles from my house up and over Traverse twice. It was super windy coming down the Alpine side, dissapointing too, I really wanted to go down fast and confidently. Anyway, came back up the Alpine side ready to descend into Draper. I was excited and ready to go aggresively thinking the wind would be less. It was less, but apparently not around one curve. I was going about 40mph, swung around a curve and maybe a crosswind hit me or something, not sure, but my bike got super wobbly and I remember grabbing my brakes lightly, but they didn't respond well. I drifted all the way across 2 lanes to the yellow median line before gaining control. I am so blessed there were no cars behind me. Scary scary stuff. Stopped by a bike shop on my way home and I guess I need to replace a bearing on my front wheel, so I'll get that taken care of this week.
Saturday I met a group out at our little swimming pond for an apparently polar bear plunge. It was SO COLD! I'd normally go about 2000 yards, but only lasted maybe 400. My hands weren't ever functional. I was moving forward, but I couldn't put my hands in any sort of position or pull the water. I had a hard time talking when I got out because some of my facial muscles were frozen. Seriously, cold stuff. I can't believe it was that cold so soon too. I mean we have had a couple nights in the 30's, but we've had a whole lot of days in the 80's in the last month. Anyway, guess OWS (open water swimming) is over in Utah for the season :(
Last but not least that day my husband and I ran one of my favorite trails, the Bonneville Shoreline Trail in Draper. I'm so proud of him for coming with me. He set a goal to get fit again several months ago and he went the whole 1:10 with me. I ran ahead a few times to get some speedwork and additional distance in, but we ran together most of the time. The colors were pretty good and the temperatures were great. Only a handful of people on the trail, so that was nice. A couple big changes o the trail though. First, there's a new bridge and steps about .5 mile in where we used to go into the ravine, and there is now a bathroom building and small dirt parking lot about 2.75 miles from the start .5 mile or so before Corner Canyon. Very nice as that trail has had no restrooms along it's 6 mile length. I'd give you more specific directions on how to get there, but then you might not take me with you, so you'll have to ask me nicely :)


Looking forward to a new week of hard work. I'm in debates right now about my racing schedule for the next month, but hopefully I'll get it sorted out soon.
A big congrats to my marathon running friends Jonathan, Heidi, Stacey and Jill - way to go guys!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Heber Valley Century - My first 100 miles!

I was prepared to do a century in the spring, but travel plans got in the way and I didn't end up doing. Then the whole broken foot fiasco went down in June. Well, I had the opportunity to ride the Heber Valley Century today with some great guys, so took it!
What a great time of year for this ride, the colors were spectacular! I pulled up about 7:30am and it was soooo cold! Like shivering cold. I was fairly well prepared clothing wise though, and once the sun came up we were fine.

We rolled away from Southfield Park about 8:30am. Headed south toward Deer Creek and about 5 miles in I asked Alecio, one of our riders, if this road felt bumpy to him. I realized a second later I better stop and check the bike and sure enough, flat tire. 5 miles into the ride! Grrr. Got to buisness changing the tube out, put the new one in and about blew it up when Te Koi reminded me it might be a good idea to check the inside of the tire, you know since something apparently went through it to pop the last tube? Sure enough, found a 2 inch long industrial staple embeded in my tire. Thanks for the save there Te Koi. I ride a smaller wheel than most people so we would've been in a world of hurt if I flatted out again as the sag wagons didn't even have 650 tubes. Lucky for me I rode with some great guys who took over and 3 CO2 cartridges (wierd valve issues, should've only taken 1) and 13 minutes later we were on our way.
Headed to our first aid station at Soldier Hollow, the 2002 Winter Olympic Biathlon venue. We had the chance to shoot rifles at the target, but figured we'd taken enough time changing a tire (did I mention it was only 5 miles into our ride?! Grrr). From there we headed through Heber to Homestead Resort for stop #2. Shed some warm layers and went on our way. Finally got out of the Heber Valley and rode up a big long hill to a Jordanelle Reservoir outlook (sailboats in the water).

Got the chance to do some downhill before heading through lots of rollers toward Oakley. On our way Te Koi said something about how last year part of the road wasn't paved and how it was nice to have it paved now. 2 minutes later we ran into that unpaved section. Had to have been almos 2 miles of dirt road and let me tell you, tiny little road bike tires are not meant for loose dirt and rock. You got used to it, but it was still frustrating to be crawling along and wondering when it'd end. Anyway, finally got to our lunch stop and boy was I ready to eat. It was awesome. Subway sandwiches (which was the best sandwich I think I've ever had), fresh fruit (including pinapple - yes!), snack bars, trail mix, punch, cold water...it was great! Finished up there and headed out to Rockport Reservoir where the winds came into play. Nothing horrible, but headwind 50 miles into a 100 mile ride and over rolling roads isn't so much fun. The boys got caught up in a peloton (group of riders that take turns 'pulling' the group through the wind) and took off. Can't blame them, but I was pretty frustrated. Frustrated that I couldn't keep up, that I was all alone in the wind, and I was just plain bonked. I think my nutrition wasn't spot on because it was hard to gauge what to take in Hammer wise since we were eating at the stations too. I may have been a little behind on my Endurolytes as well. We'll just say I wasn't very happy rolling into the next aid station about 60 miles. My mind was just mentally fried and my legs didn't feel great. It was kind of to a point where I knew we were over halfway done, but it still felt forever to the finish. Pushed on, got left behind a little, although I think the guys could sense my frustration and tried to encourage me. We got to about mile 80 and I was just riding mad at this point. Wasn't so friendly and talkative, just pushing on. That's what I needed to do at that point and I did pick up my pace a little. I also had to pull my foot out of the shoe and ride that was for the next 5-10 miles. My left big toe was sooo sore. I managed to be able to put the shoe back on for the rest of the ride though. Last aid station with about 15 miles to go. It was good riding, I felt good, and got some great pulls from Alecio - thank you! Hope was finally in sight when we got back to the climb back up from Rockcliff to the Jordanelle outlook.
Got to go down a big hill before that and hit 45mph - yay! The last climb up was long and rough at times, but I had lots of encouragement and was motivated to just get it over with. We finally got to the top and I saw a 8% down grade sign and you know what? I was thrilled! Seriously so excited to go down this big hill. I held 45mph most of the 2-3 miles down and loved every second. I think I surprised Te Koi a little when I was right behind him at the bottom. My big smile may have socked him too after my grumpiness.
Anyway, we finished the last miles into town and were D. O. N. E. !!!
106 miles in 6 hours and 20 minutes of ride time.

I got just a wee bit of sun eh? Lovin the watch tan. Oh and the socks were in place of an event shirt - it's a cyclist thing :)

There were definately times I wasn't having a good time and was discouraged, but it was a great ride to do. Awesome scenery and even better company. Seriously, I would've been crying about mile 60 from discouragement and looking for a ride back to town had I not had these guys with me. I was frustrated not being able to keep up all the time, but I have to remember they're guys, they've done this before, and they have bigger wheels than I do ;) No really though, working together on this and supporting eachother really made the ride great. Now it's time to train hard for a couple more weeks, race an Oly in Vegas on the 17th, then take 2-3 weeks off till IRONMAN TRAINING!!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Daybreak!

NOTE: I'll be adding a finish line pic as soon as they're up, and I'm sure everyone knows this, but you can click on any picture to make it bigger/more detailed

Nice to wake up at 5:15am in my own bed and drive 20 minutes to the race site. Had my traditional PB&J (natural of course) on my own whole wheat bread, took an Endurolyte and started the 24oz of water I'd drink over the next 3 hours before the race. Transition was already pretty dark and crowded when I got there at 6:00, but I found a spot to squeeze in toward the top where I wanted.
Swim - so with no open water swim option available because of the stupid
roundworm they found in the lake, we swam in a little 3 lane wide pool. Swam all of 3 lengths, took me about a minute (didn't really see the point but it was kind of fun). Slid on the running shoes and ran a mile along some paved trails around the lake to transition. It was fun to see my kids and husband outside the pool. They tried to stay with me for a bit but pushing a trailer with 3 kids, Daddy didn't stand much of a chance...hehe. I was sooo glad to have them here today and always though! 9:20 swim/run to T1

So uh, check this guy out in transition. I feel a little creeped out after seeing this pic on the camera. Hopefully he's just observing a good transition...? 0:39 T1
I ran that mile hard went through transition quickly, hopped on my bike more cautiously than I like out of some lingering fear from the injury, and took off. I knew I was the lead woman at this point (felt good to hear a spectator inform me of that), and I've been practicing on that course so I felt prepared. I knew I needed to push and stay ahead and felt confident doing it. I was pretty much out of breath though from the start of the race to the bike turnaround 30 minutes in. Ok, really it was hard the whole time including the run. Wonderful to get to the bike turnaround because then it was downhill the whole way back, we of course had a headwind to ride into though. Oh well. 34:59 bike
Another quick transition, 0:32 T2 got to see my parents (which meant a lot because my dad is pretty sick), and took off on the run. My form never felt great, I felt tired, I was just running as fast as my body would let me to try to hold onto what lead I had. I was ready to be done by the end and was grateful to not be doing Olympic! Sorry and good job to my friends that did go Oly. 20:54 run
I did end up winning which was lots of fun. Do I wish there was better competition there? You betcha. But only being 5 minutes behind the male winner and almost 5 minutes ahead of the 2nd place lady helps secure my confidence. I only got a medal and pack of hair products from a local salon. Probably worth $50, and I don't want to sound ungrateful at all, but I uh, never really do my hair and the 1st overall man and woman in olympic got $200 to a local resturaunt. I would've been much happier with cash or a bike/run shop gift card. Oh well. I did get a pretty purple flower lei. Final Time 1:06.23
The blue arrow is to show you the back of my top. I Love it! I'm vain, it's true :)

Got to talk with lots of nice friends and hang with the family. As I was leaving a friend told me he overheard someone saying that "if so and so were here that girl (me) wouldn't have won". Really hurt. I know I should ignore it, but it just made me sad. I ride a fairly crappy bike, don't have an aero (fast) helmet, just got out of a boot 6 weeks ago, and I still can't get some respect? Just bumed me out.
Those were my words earlier today to some friends. Now you know what I have to say? I ride a low end 9 year old bike, don't have a fancy helmet, just got out of a boot that kept me immobile for 9 weeks and guess what? I showed up and I won. I put the training in and raced today like so many others, and gosh darn it, I earned my hair product -
so there!
;)

Thanks to my photog genious Heidi for the great action shots! I was so focused however that I didn't even know she was there. That makes a good photographer, right? ;)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

So excited!

After a long 12 week hiatus I get to race on Saturday! I've been training really hard the last 2-3 weeks while being careful with the foot, and my legs have had it! It actually feels really good though to feel the legs fatigued coming up the stairs and having my 5 year old say "Mom, you really need an ice bath" We teach em young around here :)

But I'm feeling good now and am ready to go out and go fast and have fun!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

You know your have a good husband when......

This is your anniversary present - flowers and a new cycling kit :) We celebrated our 7th anniversary Saturday after he'd been gone on buisness all week. Not only that but I took off on a workout about an hour after he got home and was gone training most of Saturday morning (I made it up to him by surprising him with a room at the Hilton downtown though) and didn't hear complaint. I'm really proud of him too. He set a weight loss goal with his friend, joined a gym by his work and has been really taking it seriously (hence the running clothes as he was ready to go out for his run as soon as I got home from my ride). Anyway, Thanks Babe!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Training is a spectator sport

Headed out on a hilly ride Saturday. Left the house and headed toward Wasatch Blvd. It's a good climb just to get the the road, but I wanted to work hills today. Finally got to the top and headed south. Got to a bigger intersection with another cyclist and 2 other cars all waiting to turn left. The other cyclist looked for cars at the light, none to be seen anywhere, so he made his turn. Now yes, it's illegal, and yes I stayed and waited for the light, but man, some people. The driver next to me rolls down his window and yells "that was very very illegal". Thanks buddy, we had no idea. He yelled some more at the cyclist and I told him to simmer down. He started saying something to me but I couldn't hear him. The light finally turned and I just told him to get some exercise, it'd make him feel better.
You know, of course what the cyclist did was illegal, it helps cyclists get the bad wrap some drivers give us, but come on, are drivers perfect? Do they follow the speed limit always? Stop completely at stop signs? How about always use their blinkers or give cyclists their legal 3 feet? Just food for thought......
Anyway, continued on toward te canyons when the looming dark clouds finally let go. I got pounded on and soaked! Kind of fun to feel water come up off my wheels onto my legs, luckily I wore some tri clothes that day eh? I eyed a covered bus stop incase it wasn't going to let up but it did so on I went. Dealt with a south wind which I was hoping wouldn't be there since it's downhill a bit to Draper and that would've been good practice, and fun! Oh well.
Rode past a private entrace with lion statues on either side of the gate and dinosaurs on the top of the columns - interesting. Anyway, as I headed into Draper I glanced into a neighborhood on my right and look what caught my eye
Seriously! A 7 foot tall Sully statue at a yard sale. Definately one of the stranger things I've seen. I was going to have my picture taken under him but people were already looking at me kind of strange parking my bike in front of a yard sale - come on people, perfect opportunity to peruse, right? ;)
Anway, rode into Herriman, up to Bachus. I was kind of pooped, wanting to get home, but decided to ride a few miles up Butterfield canyon. It's nice, very very low traffic, good roads. No shoulder, but doable. Definately one I want to hit up again soon. Turned around to enjoy the ride down, and about a mile into it going 35ish I see this family of wild turkey's crossing the road ahead of me. I yelled something to them about getting out of my way, you know, since turkey's understand us and all. Thought I was ok, which was good since I wasn't really in a position to stop, and here comes this last one 10 feet in front of me! I averted disaster narrowly, and so did he.
Anyway (I say that a lot, sorry), finished my ride home with some nasty cross winds and only about 5 miles worth of tail wind at the end. 55 miles in all, was hoping for more, but right now, hills are more important. Feeling good, tired, body heavy, but I'm working hard so that can be expected. Looking forward to a race next weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I hit 40 today....

That is all :)


Ok, I'll write a little more. Went out to the pond and swam a couple loops hard just to get some OW time in. The pond was calm and still, only a couple families there. I love open water swimming, so much better than endless flipturns. I was seriously so sad when they turned the pool from 50m to 25yd again :(.
Then I drove over to the Daybreak course and rode the big hill several times. Rode it hard up, and hard down. I've had an issue with going at high rates of speed. I'm starting to break away from that. Keep you eye out for me in a few weeks.......

Sunday, August 30, 2009

50 miles, 8000 ft of climbing = SICK!

Yesterday I set out on a ride with a friend of mine Te Koi and 2 of his other friends. We left the Chevron in Draper at 6:40am and rode to the top of Traverse. What a way to warm up! We went from the parking lot straight into climbing and had some 8-10% grades to contend with most of the way up. It took us 27 minutes and change to get to the top totally cranking away, no spinning here! I asked Te Koi on the way up "Who's idea was this?!" It was his ;)

Then came the first decent. I won't lie. I'm kind of a baby. I held the brakes coming down more than I should have, but I still did pretty good for me. I met the guys at the bottom waiting for me and said "I know, I know, lets go". Maybe if I had more testosterone I'd be more reckless....Anyway, we headed into Alpine and to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. Upon entering the canyon we rode into a fairly mean headwind. I'm not a drafter, but you had better believe I hustled back up to the group to find a wheel to tuck in behind. Luckily the wind faded and we headed on up.

It took us about an hour and a half to ride the 12 miles up to the summit at 8000 ft.
That's called steep!
It got progressively worse as the ride went on and by the time we were almost to the top I remember thinking that this was an experience similar to childbirth in that it may take me some time to forget the pain before I want to do this again :) Seriously, there were some really tough moments, once I thought I was going to roll back on a switchback, but we did it and I'm proud I got to the top!
We hung out for a minute waiting for our 4th rider to make it up, and then the nerves started kicking in. Well really I started to get nervous about the way down when we were about halfway up. We really started climbing some bigger grades and this isn't like Traverse, it's a 12 mile decent, not 3 or 4. Te Koi asked me if i was alright after I finished getting the arm warmers and gloves on and I said yes, just nervous to go down. He assured me I'd be ok, and you know what? I was! I'm no Cat 1 (ie: FAST) cyclist, but I hit my fair share of 32-35mph's and had so much fun riding down that canyon! I hardly ever train with music, on the bike especially out of fear of not hearing traffic. Yesterday I was more scared of the decent than I was the cars (there weren't a ton and they were respectful), so I popped an earbud in, turned on some rockin tunes and let go. I've come to learn it's so much easier letting the bike go a bit than it is hugging the brakes out of fear I'll get rolling too fast. I was able to slow down when I needed to, didn't have any close calls, and just really had a great time! I was actually sad when it was over and it was time to head back into Alpine. That's a big step for me (I sound like I'm in therapy). I'm usually excited to be off the mountain back into my comfort zone. I really needed that ride yesterday - totally motivational. I really feel like I broke down a barrier.

Anyway, I had thought we were going to go around point of the mountain to get home to avoid the big climb back to Draper, but the boys (ok, it was the fast one of us, Shaun. Te Koi and I were spent) talked me into going back over Traverse. We approached the climb and my legs just cried, begging me to not make them do it again. Sorry legs, you lose. Thanks for the ride though! It was really hot by this point, the 30 minute climb back up was rough, but we made it. I had one last mountain to get down, and I was still nervous. The only time I'd been down the Draper side before this was horrible. Anyone recall this picture?
Yeah, I was scared. I was scared today too, but wanted to prove this theory that I can't go down hills fast wrong. Ear bud back in, check. Helmet bucked, check. Brakes still working :), check.
I did soooo much better this time!
Last time I don't think I ever approached 20mph, again out of sheer fear I'd get rolling too fast to control - NOT TRUE! I went down this time at 28-35mph and it was fun! Was that crazy fast? No, I've still got room for improvement, but it was much needed improvement.

Anyway, I'm pooped. What a great morning. Definately the hilliest ride I've ever been on, and probably the hardest. Those 70-80 milers are hard, but just cause my butt hurts from being on a seat that long. The guys were great to ride with and so nice to not make me feel like a slow girl (I did keep up pretty well). Oh and the scenery was fantastic. I always love being around the pine tree covered hills and we rode through Aspens everywhere the last couple miles to the summit. Here are some details from Te Koi's Garmin (can't get mine to upload)

I realized at 9pm last night that I was supposed to run 2 miles that day. Soooo didn't want to go out, but I have this thing called a competitive mind - and probably some OCD - that doesn't often let me skip a workout (and I'm trying to get this foot back), so I laced up the shoes at 9:30pm and headed out. It was dark, I was sore, had to run on the road for safety reasons, and it went ok. I'm hoping my legs were just tired from the day, but I thought I might have felt and inkling of shin splints, something I haven't had since I was 15. I'm really stiff today, but ready to get back at it this next week. Yay for being mobile again!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A behind the scenes take on Racing

The wonderful Hobblecreek Half Marathon was yesterday. Unfortunately for me 13 days out of the boot is not enough to run 13 miles, so I volunteered, spectated, and cheered for friends. My family has helped to run this race for the last 4 years (my extended family has made this race happen for the last 15 years), but I've always been an athlete in the race, so haven't seen all of the action. After going through it all again this year, I can confirm that I really have no desire to be a race director. They have so much on their plate! There are many aspects of the race they have to let out of their control to other people and sometimes people don't come through. There were many people who did come through though. Orem High School x-country athletes worked 2 of the large aid stations and did a great job. The handful of other volunteers working at the finish line made the race happen. There were people moving runners through the chute, managing the back up timing, my own daughter handed out the flowers to all the female finishers. There were brave souls at the T-shirt table, my husbands Grandparents and Aunt and Uncle prepared and served all of the post race food, and then we all spent 2-3 hours packing and cleaning up after the race was over.
I really encourage everyone to volunteer for a race. It really leaves you with an appreciation for the race directors who most often make $1-$2/hour if anything at all for all the time and work they put in after everything is paid for . It also reminds me that this is supposed to be fun, I need to come prepared and calm so that it can be.

I worked packet pickup for 6 hours on friday. It's so fun seeing people's excitement about the upcoming race, being able to answer questions and calm new runners fears and concerns. Of course I had my share of angry people that I couldn't help because they weren't following the protocol given in the emails and race website. Everyone please remember to bring your photo ID and don't expect to pick up others packets without a copy of their ID (if your race allows that). People really have and do try to pick up a strangers race number to use for themselves on big races like this that sell out. Sad, I know, but it happens.

So on to the night before the race, the bus company called to let us know that they will not be sending 3 of the busses we ordered. So we would now be given 17, not the 21 we paid for and ordered 5 months ago.
Well guess why the race got started 30 minutes late?
Because there were 3 bus loads of people waiting at the pickup for the buses having to return from the top of the canyon. I know it sucks to be waiting up there forever, we were going crazy trying to rush things and get those last people up.

Anyway, so we're ready to start the race and guess who isn't a the top? The race photographers. So the RD's notice I have a fancy camera (Heidi's) with me so toss me and my bike into the clothing trailer where I got to take pictures of the leaders for the first few miles until we flew down the canyon a few miles at like 40mph trying to gain enough lead to get me and the bike out and ready to ride down. It was fun riding down, a quiet canyon, observing the scenery, stopping to take pics of the leaders here and there. Then I got to see my friends pass all looking good about mile 7. I had to ride up the course some to find the last friend, and knew I didn't have much time to get to my friend Heidi before she finished, so I hauled my butt down the course cheering others on, to find Heidi at 12.My friends Becky (who has 3 month old) with husband Vince, the elusive Heidi, 17 min PR Jamie, and myself, flower in my hair courtesy of my favorite 5 year old.


Afterward I was glad to hear there weren't any mobs or riots on the volunteers at the shirt table. I know runners and their race shirts, it's not something you mess with! Unfortunately the printing company decided not to keep their contract finish dates and all of the size M and L shirts are still in California somewhere. Oh man, you should have seen the fear on the race directors faces trying to figure out what we were going to tell the racers, Luckily I think most everyone dealt with the "blow" fairly well. They will get their shirts either at the store next week or mailed to their house
(a big added expense for the RD's).

Oh and I'm sorry for my friends who didn't expect the trail part of the course, I feel bad, lesson to be learned though: always look at the course map online.


Anyway, I had a good time, saw some excellent running....but
I have 'watched' my last race! Cool